I thought it was a good time for an Ella update, seeing as she is now mastering a major milestone - walking! Over the past month she has gone from taking one or two steps between Andy and me, to pushing herself up and taking some tentative steps, to toddling around all over the house. I still get a surprise when I'm in the kitchen area and I think she is playing on her play mat, and then all of the sudden there she is, walking around the corner to see what I am up to!
Everyone has always said how much harder it is once your toddler starts walking, but so far I'm finding it a nice change. Maybe it's because Ella has started walking a bit later than lots of babies, so I feel like we've been anticipating this next step for a while now. She also understands a lot of what we say, so we can direct her to follow us or to go in a certain direction - not that she is always compliant, of course! It has also made our trips out to the park much more interesting, and I think she is happier now that she can walk on her own. Not to mention my back is very thankful that she can walk on her own, as it seemed like we were stooped over helping her walk for months leading up to this!
Added to the walking it is wonderful to watch how much she is learning every day. She seems to soak up everything we say and do and I'm amazed at how much she retains now.
Here are some things about Ella at 17 months old...
- Eating, especially fruit, cheese, bread, pasta, yogurt.
- Colouring, although she is still learning that we would prefer she colour on the paper we stick to her table, rather than ripping that up to draw on the table itself.
- Listening to Andy play guitar - she walks around in circles shrieking happily and clapping her hands whenever he plays. Her favourite song is "Time of your Life" by Green Day (great song - though Andy's repertoire is limited so she doesn't have a lot to choose from).
- Books - especially "lift the flap" books and books with a lot of detail in the picture. She points to her favourite things like dogs, birds, and bowls of fruit in each illustration.
- Her bunny comforter - this love started when she was about five months old, and the bond between Ella and bunny grows stronger everyday. We have two back up bunnies which thankfully she seems equally enamoured with, as I'm not sure what we would do if we lost original bunny and she didn't like the replacement.
- Playing in the sand and going to the park.
- Dogs and birds and animals in general. I'm ready for another trip to the zoo now that she is walking, I think it will be a whole new ball game.
- Long naps (yay!)
- Pushing things around (her walker, chairs, her stroller, etc).
- The Wiggles, which she does wiggle around to. I find it hilarious now but I'm sure it will soon become annoying!
- Trying to put on clothes. Often she will get a pair of underwear from the washing line and put it around her neck like a scarf, and then walk around happily with it on, which is too funny. Trying to put on clothes can also be a source of frustration for her when she can't get them on at all.
Ella does not like:
- Sleeping past 6am, which is a bit of a killer lately. The early sunrise this time of year doesn't help to convince her it is still time to sleep!
- Sharing her toys when we are at our house... whenever another baby is over visiting it takes Ella a while to warm up to them and be ok with them using her toys. I read somewhere that children don't understand sharing until they are 3-4 years old. That seems like a long way away!
- Finding an iPhone and then having it taken away from her. I am really trying to keep my phone hidden and not use it around her now.
- The gates that block off the stairs.
Things Ella can do:
- Walk! Yay!
- Point to her nose, head, hair, ears, tummy, toes and mouth. Pointing to her eyes seems to confuse her though.
- Make animal sounds for a duck, elephant, gorilla, monkey, snake and crocodile.
- Say the words bye, hello, mama, dada, Ella, bubble, ball, blue, no, nana (for banana, or I think that actually means just any kind of food) and cuddle. Perhaps others that I haven't decoded yet.
- Use baby sign language to signal that she wants milk and when she is full.
- Shake her head to signal "yes" and "no" (mainly no).
- The educators at daycare have said she can say (or repeat) the other children's names and that she is starting to role play - playing with dolls and pretending to cook in a little toy kitchen.